What is Wilderness Therapy and How Can It Enhance Your Personal Growth

What is Wilderness Therapy and How Can It Enhance Your Personal Growth

As humans, we tend to lose direction in life. Maybe you struggle with addiction, have experienced a traumatic event, are a rebellious teenager, or have deeper emotional issues that you can’t seem to understand. It’s time to try something new to find a solution to this and not just get back to living life fully, but use this as a stepping stone to personal growth. One such way, that also includes a lot of fun and novelty, is wilderness therapy. Let’s see what that is.

What is Wilderness Therapy

According to Wiki, wilderness therapy is “an adventure-based therapy treatment modality for behavior modification and interpersonal self-improvement, combining experiential education, individual and group therapy in a wilderness setting.”

Or in other words, for those asking what is wilderness therapy, that’s a program involving outdoor activities. You can, let’s say, go backpacking or camping for a few days (or even weeks) and come back as a completely new person. It’s refreshing, challenging, therapeutic, social, and life-changing.

Such an experiment is all about being part of a group, doing something you’ve never tried, building skills, developing self-awareness, finding peace of mind, being in nature and changing your perspective.

How Does Adventure Therapy Work

Awesome and Science-Backed Reasons to Go Hiking This Month - health benefits mental health research

Such programs are outdoor and include awesome activities such as camping. Once you admit you need a break from reality, or have taken the decision to let this approach help you deal with a deeper issue, you can join a wilderness camp for teens or adults. You can sleep in instant tents and be close to nature.

Keep in mind that the outdoor activity itself isn’t what will help you learn from your mistake, clear your mind and grow. That’s just one of the many benefits of wilderness programs. It’s the therapy sessions involved, the help of professional instructors and therapists, the activities that are done on a daily basis, and the fact that you’re encouraged to embrace self-awareness, that make all the difference.

The Benefits of Outdoor Therapy

Now that you know the answer to the question ‘What is wilderness therapy?’, you can also decide if it’s for you once you get familiar with all its benefits. Here they are:

New environment, new you.

A change in environment does help. Sometimes, a troubled teen might be acting out mainly due to their surroundings, who they hang out with, or how an outer factor in their current environment is affecting them.

When that’s changed completely, such as during backpacking with other people with similar issues but guided by experts and learning how to take responsibility, these teens can be transformed.

It’s great for mental health.

Leaving our problems behind for a while doesn’t mean we’re running away. Sometimes, it might mean we are just doing something better with our time. Such is the case with adventure therapy.

If you’re willing to get into the wild with people you don’t know, talk about your feelings and be assessed by others, you’ll gain awareness like never before. That helps with finding focus, it’s therapeutic and results in mental clarity.

Better relationships.

The collaborative environment, the individualized treatment programs and the support you receive that helps you express yourself more and understand yourself better, also leads to forming better and more meaningful relationships after the program.

You build skills.

Ideas for Camping Activities to Make Sure You Have Fun and Build Skills

When you’re out in nature, you’ll be learning how to survive in the wilderness.

With camping, for instance, you’ll also learn how to navigate with a compass and map, start a fire, put it out safely, put up a tent, survive without the usual belongings you’re used to, build a shelter, and more.

All this engages your mind, you start becoming more independent, you think logically and get creative at the same time. Such skills are practical in many other situations in life too.

Mindfulness and contentment.

You’ll soon realize that it’s okay not to be surrounded by technology or the usual comforts we’re used to. A more minimalist lifestyle actually makes life easier. You start breathing and experiencing each moment more fully. You appreciate nature and all that it has to offer.

There are many other benefits of wilderness therapy, such as managing your emotions better, becoming self-reliant and more confident in your abilities, learning to communicate with others in a more relaxed way and showing understanding.

If you’re willing to experience the advantages of traditional therapy methods but while being outside and doing fun stuff, then wilderness therapy might be just what you need.

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Facts on Saturated Fat and How it Affects Women’s Health

Facts on Saturated Fat and How it Affects Women's Health

If you’re confused about what food are good for you today, but bad for you tomorrow, you’re not alone.

Take fat, for example. One day, all fats are bad. Then we’re told we need healthy fats. Another day, the perception of what’s considered ‘healthy’ fat is under scrutiny. Here’s the skinny on saturated fat.

The Truth About Saturated Fat

Just a few decades ago, fat was the enemy, especially saturated fat as found in butter and other animal-based food products. They’re the kind of fats that solidify at room temperature, which is due to their atomic makeup; the carbon cells are completely covered, or saturated, by the hydrogen cells.

Foods that contain saturated fats include:

– Red meat
– Eggs
– Cheese and other dairy products
– Poultry
– Pork
– Palm and coconut oil

Saturated fat was thought to cause high cholesterol and ailments like heart disease. However, new research has shown that a diet that includes saturated fat and reduces carbohydrates actually has the opposite effect, especially in women over the age of 50. This has led to the rise of low carb and paleo diets.

The benefits of saturated fat has been studied by researchers, dietitians and journalists like Nina Teicholz, whose book, The Big Fat Surprise, summarizes nine years of research on the subject of saturated fat and women’s health.

The conclusions reached by many who’ve viewed the data are that there is no conclusive evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease or obesity when eaten as part of a balanced diet. In fact, over the period between the first recommendations by the American Heart Association demonizing fat in 1961 and now, heart disease, obesity and related conditions have increased.

How Did Saturated Fat Become the Enemy?

The big turning point came after the release of the so-called “Seven Countries” study conducted by Ancel Keys. This research – and false conclusions – looked at diets around the world. Keys determined that the seven countries with the highest rate of heart disease also consumed the highest amounts of saturated fat.

What the study overlooked, and what turned out to be the real cause of adverse health effects, was that people in these countries also ate the highest amounts of processed carbohydrates and sugar. The problem was that Keys went in with a hypothesis about the correlation between fat consumption and heart disease, and rejected any findings that didn’t support his theories.

What’s it All Mean?

We’re not suggesting that fat doesn’t raise cholesterol, which is a contributing factor in heart disease. However, certain kinds of cholesterol are beneficial, even necessary, to good health.

Adding modest amounts of saturated fat and reducing sugar and refined carbohydrate consumption increases the HDL (good) cholesterol and lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol. The trick is to choose the right kinds of saturated fats, not deprivation.

Food With Beneficial Saturated Fat

The right levels of saturated fat in your diet allows you to enjoy eating again. Food tastes better and is more filling, which means less temptation to binge and less over-eating. Choose saturated fat from healthier foods like coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, and grass-fed beef over grain-fed.

If you’ve been depriving yourself and avoiding ‘real’ foods like red meat, cheese and butter, this is good news. The best diet for anyone is one that uses moderation without necessarily excluding entire food groups.